Jona Colson

The Quiet Place

If you are a good hunter, aim here—
the quiet place under the pink of my first rib.

If you think assassin is a synonym for sacrifice
ask for the opposite of curled nails in the dirt

or a child’s face pushed into a winter river.
My father pursued deer and the sound of bullets

brushed past salty pine trees. He, too, spent all
season, fire-vested, pissing on maple bark

and weaponed, waiting for flinching ears
to stop like tongues at the end of click.

I know the hunger for something feral—
for eyes in adoration of life domesticated

but the synonym is not domestic
it is fists beaten on a pit or a grave.

© Jona Colson

Jona Colson’s poems have been published in Ploughshares, The Southern Review, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. His debut poetry collection, Said Through Glass, won the 2018 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House.  He is also the poetry editor of This Is What America Looks Like: Poetry and Fiction from DC, Maryland, and Virginia (WWPH, 2021). He teaches in Maryland and lives in Washington, DC.

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